Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
Members of the MAPS School Board and the Fiscal Control Board heard a presentation last week to explain the overdraft of the MAPS checkbook, calling the $135,784 deficit an honest mistake. Alan Kingston, assistant superintendent and Roger Alff, director of the Municipal Audit Bureau in Madison explained last Wednesday evening that the fact that the City of Merrill, on whom the district is dependent for tax collection, runs on a fiscal calendar from January to December while the school district has an August to July calendar. Kingston explained when funds ran out in July the money was just taken from the next year’s funds and the overdraft did not add up right away as the fiscal report for the district is conducted in June, even though the district still has two months to go in its fiscal year. Mayor Ralph Voigt said the city will pay the debt for now, and he recommends the school district be allowed to retire it over the next five years in a payback. The reason for the overdraft to start was lower actual receipts than were estimated. (That is nearly $750,000 in today’s money)
Lincoln Hills Boys School in Irma is starting to fill up with students, that is according to assistant superintendent Edwin Sybeldon. A total of 16 youths have been admitted so far. They are currently in the reception and orientation period of their confinement. Sybeldon said he expects one student per day to be admitted to the school with possibly more in the next few days so they can be on grounds when school starts on September 8th. State officials expect a total of 230 youths to be admitted to the school during its first year of operation. Most boys will spend less than a year at the school. A total of 45 staff members are also in place at the school; that number will rise as the student population does.
A home in the 1000 block of East 2nd Street has been reduced to rubble this week in order to make room for additional parking for Church Mutual employees. The residence at 1009 E 2nd Street was acquired by the company in order to provide off street parking for its growing employee base here. The home is rumored to have been built by Daniel Coxon, a popcorn and peanut vendor in Merrill. Coxon lived at 1005 E 2nd Street and was among the victims when the Titanic sunk in the Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912, killing 1,513 people.
School is open! MAPS reported they started the year with 178 more students than last year. The parochial schools in town are down 60 students compared to last year at this time. The football field at the Junior High is being readied; the first football game of the season and in the history of the new complex will be this Saturday.
The city of Merrill did not discriminate against a Merrill woman by denying her a bartender license this past April. The woman filed a complaint against the city with the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Industry Labor and Human relations. In her complaint she said the city discriminated against her because she had a pending criminal charge in Lincoln County Court. In its rebuttal the city pointed out the woman’s criminal charge stemmed from a bar fight in which three of its policemen were injured. State law allows a municipality to refuse a license if a pending criminal charge relates to the particular job or activity they are requesting a license for. The woman has 30 days to appeal.
Edward Klein has resigned from the Merrill Police force. The 27 year old will make his resignation official as of September 19th. He has taken a similar position with the Schofield Police Department. The Police and Fire Commission voted on Wednesday to seek out a new eligibility list to fill the vacancy. The commission also voted to interview one member of the Merrill Fire Department as the possible replacement for Fire Chief Ray Priebe who has indicated his desire to retire at the end of the year.
An Illinois man charged locally with the attempted arson of a Merrill factory has pled guilty to federal charges in the incident and is reported to be cooperating with authorities probing an arson for hire ring. Roderick A. MacKenzie is still in custody according to local authorities, but where he is incarcerated remains a mystery. Local District Attorney Richard Olson and the US Attorney in Madison reached the agreement with the 45 year old Chicago man who pled guilty to one count of interstate travel with the intent to commit arson. Merrill officers on patrol found MacKenzie and Philip Eberhardt as they prepared to set fire to the Anson and Gilkey millwork plant. The pair kidnapped the night watchman Phillip Boyce and chained him to a tree during the incident. Judith Hawley, an assistant US Attorney in Madison, stated MacKenzie may return to Lincoln County Court to testify against Eberhardt unless he too is federally prosecuted. Hawley predicted more arrests are imminent in the case.
Local authorities reported a quiet weekend on the roadways as the final holiday weekend of the summer came and went. Residents in the area expressed their concern about gas prices which shot up to $1.35 per gallon on average. Prices have been on the increase since the invasion of Iraq by US Military forces in response to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi forces.
City officials are recommending employees of downtown businesses use the newly created parking area in the 1000 block. The city purchased the property from the Trantow Lumber Company and created a parking area where the lumberyard used to be. Parking will no longer be allowed on the right of way between the Cosmo Theatre and the Center Ave Bridge.